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Tilray, U.S. brand group partner on cannabis-infused retail products

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Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, January 15, 2019 6:16AM EST


Last Updated Tuesday, January 15, 2019 6:27AM EST

Licensed producer Tilray Inc. has teamed up with the U.S. company behind brands such as Juicy Couture, Aeropostale and Nine West to develop and sell co-branded consumer cannabis products globally, with items expected to hit U.S. and Canadian shelves within the next year.

The Nanaimo, B.C.-based company announced Tuesday the long-term revenue sharing agreement with Authentic Brands Group, to whom Tilray will initially pay US$100 million in cash and stock, or up to $250 million depending on certain milestones.

Tilray will receive up to 49 per cent of the net revenue from these products bearing names from ABG’s portfolio of more than 50 brands, with a guaranteed minimum payment of up to US$10 million annually for 10 years.

“We believe that consumers will be much more likely to try a cannabis or CBD product if it’s branded with a brand that they already know and trust,” said Tilray’s chief executive Brendan Kennedy.

Under the deal, Tilray would be the preferred supplier of active cannabinoid ingredients, such as CBD and THC, for ABG’s cannabis products.

“We see extraordinary potential for cannabis in the fast-growing health and wellness category — particularly for CBD products in the United States and around the world — and are excited about this long-term partnership,” said ABG’s executive vice chairman Daniel Dienst in a statement.

While the two companies have not finalized which brands will be utilized, potential products include Nine West CBD foot cream or CBD-infused muscle wraps under the tennis brand Prince, with a logo that says “powered by Tilray.”

The deal with ABG does not limit Tilray from signing partnerships with companies in the cosmetic space, said Kennedy.

He expects these co-branded products to be on the market within 12 months on both sides of the border, as allowed under U.S. and Canadian regulations.

The signing of the farm bill in the U.S. in December designated hemp as an agricultural crop and opened the door for widespread distribution of hemp-derived CBD products south of the border.

As such, their co-branded products south of the border will contain hemp-derived CBD, sourced from a farm in the U.S., said Kennedy.

In Canada, these consumer goods will include THC and CBD products sourced domestically, but how they will be distributed will depend on domestic regulations concerning edibles and topical products, he added.

“Imagine a CBD foot cream sample that was in every box of the one million pairs of shoes that they sell every year… and that introduces that consumer to this particular product,” he said.

While dried flower and cannabis oils have been legal in Canada since Oct. 17, Ottawa only released proposed rules for edibles and topicals in December. The federal government is gathering public input on these draft rules until Feb. 20, and edibles will be legalized for sale no later than Oct. 17, 2019.

This is the latest partnership for Tilray, which last month announced a deal with the parent company of Labatt Breweries of Canada, Anheuser-Busch InBev, to research cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market.

The licensed producer last month signed a collaboration agreement with Sandoz AG, part of the Novartis pharmaceutical group, to work together to increase the availability of high quality medical products across the world.

While big tobacco and big alcohol have taken equity stakes in some of their competitors, such as alcohol giant Constellation Brands and Canopy Growth Corp., Tilray has opted to go the partnership route, Kennedy said.

“We preferred to control our own destiny… It’s early days and we’re not for sale.”

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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